Şener warns against partisan constitution

Şener warns against partisan constitution

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Şener warns against partisan constitution

Former Cabinet member Şener says a partisan charter will be controversial. AA photo

Former Deputy Prime Minister Abdüllatif Şener has warned the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) against drawing up the new constitution according to the party’s own political priorities.

“A partisan constitution will be even more controversial than the coup Constitution. If the public gets the impression that the constitution is being drafted under the shadow of the ruling party, then it will be an even bigger subject of debate than the [post-coup] 1982 Constitution,” Şener said in a presentation to Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission.

Parliament has no legal authority to abolish the incumbent Constitution and draw up a completely new one, said Şener, who quit the AKP in 2007 and now heads the modest Turkey Party (TP).

“The first thing to be done is to pass a charter amendment that would authorize [Parliament] to change the entire Constitution,” he said. The drive for a new constitution had failed to spark any public enthusiasm, Şener said. “If this continues, it will end just as it started.”

The former minister advocated the preservation of Turkey’s parliamentary system. “You cannot install a presidential system on top of parliamentary democracy,” he said, in an apparent reference to widespread suspicions that the AKP might attempt to bring in presidential system elements into the charter in line with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advocacy of such a governance system for Turkey.

Meanwhile, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew is expected to present his views to the commission in the coming week. He has expressed readiness to personally convey the Patriarchate’s proposals on the new charter.